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How the behaviours of Canadians have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic
(Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
WINNIPEG -- A new survey out from Statistics Canada is looking at how Canadians have been handling life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey asked Canadians questions about the precautions they have been taking, the people they have interacted with, and how their mental health has been over the last few months.
Two surveys were done by Statistics Canada. The first between March 29 and April 3 and information was collected from 4,600 people. A second survey was performed between May 4 and May 10 with mostly the same people.
When looking at precautions being taken during COVID-19, there was an increase in the number of people who were practicing physical distancing. The first survey showed 87 per cent of people were practicing it and in the second survey 92 per cent were being distant.
There was also an increase of Canadians washing their hands going from 92 per cent to 95 per cent, and a bit of a jump in people who were avoiding large gatherings, 87 per cent to 91 per cent.
Canadians have also started planning more on when to contact friends and family. In the second survey 51 per cent of people said they were making plans compared to 41 per cent in the first.
But there has been a slight decrease in the number of people who avoid leaving the house for non-essential reasons, going from 90 per cent to 87 per cent. Statistics Canada believes this is due to measures being slowly lifted throughout the country.
The survey found that nearly one in five Canadians have reported feeling moderate or severe anxiety. People aged 15 to 24 felt the most affected at 27 per cent, compared to middle-aged adults at 19 per cent, and seniors at 10 per cent.
It also found women have had more anxiety than men, 21 per cent to 15 per cent respectively.
Canadians drinking alcohol and eating junk food has also increased since the first survey. Around 19 per cent said they have had more alcohol compared to the first survey at 14 per cent.
Meanwhile, 35 per cent of those surveyed said they have eaten more junk food and sweets compared to the first survey at 27 per cent.
The survey also asked people if they have had social interactions with people outside of their homes.
It found in the last seven days, about three in 10 Canadians, or 29 per cent, said they had no contact with people outside of those in their home, and 32 per cent said they had contact with three people or less.
Statistics Canada also noted that nine per cent of people surveyed said they had contact with 16 or more people in the last week, and it's believed this is because many Canadians don't work from home.